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"The home of volunteering in Brent"  
Member of The HFVC Group    

27th March 2014

Ten years ago, Brent Active Citizens (BAC) started as a single project in the London Borough of Brent with the help of Big Lottery funding. Since 2004, it has dedicated itself to promoting and facilitating volunteering and related activities across Brent. To commemorate this anniversary, at Brent Civic Centre, it held its annual Volunteers’ Fair, matching volunteers to organisations who need their help, and in the evening a celebration event.

BAC firmly believes and has demonstrated year after year that volunteering changes people’s lives and is a gateway to opportunities such as employment, training, education and enterprise. Brent Active Citizens has raised well over £1million from a wide variety of funders for volunteering projects to support Brent residents, including Big Lottery, DWP, ESF, Lloyds TSB and Brent Council.

Acting as a Volunteer Centre organisation for Brent, it is the volunteer recruitment service for voluntary and community organisations in the Borough. Many of these organisations cannot provide their services without the help of volunteers and of Brent Active Citizens in providing these volunteers.

The evening’s celebration event was attended by a large number of charity and community organisations, current and former Councillors, volunteers, the Leader of the Council (Cllr Muhammed Butt) and Mayor of Brent, Cllr Bobby Thomas, who kindly opened proceedings with a short speech.

Ken Luxon from Age UK Brent spoke to guests to say that they could not survive without the support of BAC and the volunteers it provides for the organisation year after year. Both Izabela Honowska from Sudbury Neighbourhood Centre and Alison Plaku from Brent Community Law Centre also spoke to thank BAC for the services they provide. Volunteers Elaine John and Edmund Kelly both spoke from the heart about their experiences of volunteering with Brent Active Citizens.

Dominic Pinkney, BAC Chief Executive, said, ‘Brent Active Citizens is very proud to celebrate its 10 year anniversary. We have supported thousands of local residents and organisations in the past ten years as well as getting many businesses to support the local community. We look forward to supporting even more Brent residents and organisations in the next ten years!’.

He added, ‘Today is also about acknowledging the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers who have made this anniversary possible. Marion Schumann, who recently stepped down as Chief Executive, has been instrumental in bringing in funds for Brent projects and the development of the organisation. Very special thanks goes to the tireless work of Tsige Dejene and Charmaine Goodridge who worked on our very first project in Brent and have built an excellent and deserved reputation for the organisation across the Borough.’

Following the speeches, entertainment was provided by a number of performers including Harlesden boy-band TS5 (as well as their father Emmanuel Sakyi) who were a massive hit with the crowd, superb vocalist Ebony James and dancing from Auriej Entertainment.

For more information about volunteering opportunities in Brent, please contact the Brent Active Citizens team on: 07760 758638 or email; news@brentactivecitizens.org.uk
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